Back in 1173 A.D. some ambitions guys in Italy set out to build a tower that was better than anything that anyone had ever built. It would be 183 feet tall, built with lots of fancy columns and arches.
Unfortunately, they made a critical miscalculation. They didn't construct the base of the tower properly. That mistake caused a lot of headaches.
Everything looked fine for for the first five years, until they had the 3rd floor completed. Then the tower started to lean. When you're making a tower, the last thing you want it to do is to start leaning over.
You may have heard of this tower -- the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
As those guys in Italy would attest, starting out with the proper base is really important when designing a building. You can do everything else right but if you mess up that part, you're in big trouble!
So what makes a great shed floor system?
A shed floor can be broken down into 3 main parts: Blocking, Frame, and Decking.
If you're not sure what those terms mean, don't worry, I'll explain them in a bit.
Lets start from the bottom up.
Blocking is the cinder blocks we install under your building when we deliver it. Blocking serves two primary purposes.
The first purpose is to level your building. Most yards have a little bit of slope to them, so leveling your building makes it look good in your backyard. The windows and doors also function best when the building is properly leveled.
The second purpose of blocking is to provide a buffer between the wooden floor system and the ground. Even though our floors are treated to resist rotting, keeping them up on concrete blocks gives you that extra measure of protection.
The frame is the section that rests on the cinder blocks and supports the plywood decking. We always use treated wood to dramatically decrease the likelihood of rot or termites weakening the floor.
While some companies will use 2x4s to construct their frames, prefer 2x6s. The extra 2 inches adds a lot of strength to the floor system.
Most shed companies install their floor frames with the supports 14 ½ inches apart. We give our customers the option of upgrading to a super heavy duty floor frame. This frame has the supports only 10 ½ inches apart. This is an especially great choice when purchasing a larger shed or cabin shell.
The decking is the part you walk on when you step inside your shed. It needs to be sufficiently thick to support any of the items you're placing in your shed. We have had very good success with using ⅝ inch thick plywood decking, paired with our super heavy duty floor frame.
The grade of plywood is also important. We like to use B/C grade plywood because it has a smooth sanded surface, free of knotholes. The smooth surface not only looks good, but also makes it much easier to clean.
Now you know what to look for in a good floor system. Armed with this knowledge, you’re one step ahead of those guys in Italy. No backyard Tower of Pisa for you!